Saffron is the dried orange-red stigmas originated from flower call crocus sativus. Each flower contains of only three stigmas and it must be harvested carefully by hand just as flower is opening.
Iran ranks first in the world production of saffron, with more than 90% of the world production.
Greece, Spain, Morocco and India are also producing saffron in micro scales. Persian saffron (from Iran) is considered the most premium saffron in the world
Saffron is extremely subtle and fragrant. Saffron has its own unique taste which is slightly sweet,luxurious enigmatic taste. It is hard to describe the taste but instantly recognizable in a dish. Ascommonly says, you know it when you taste it
Saffron infamously is consider the most expensive spice in the world with price range of USD$9,000 to $15,000 per Kg. Saffron is consider very high maintenance flower and it blooms only once a year in autumn for two weeks therefore, some people call it as "Autumn Gold". The entire process of cultivating, harvesting, picking the stigma from inside and packaging must be done by hand.
Therefore, the process is extremely labor intensive and thus, expensive. For one kilogram of saffron you need 150,000 blooms
First of all, if you use saffron as drink or cooking, you will just need few strands to have the color and taste, which it much below even one gram therefore, it won't be pricey for a cup or dish.
Secondly, the taste and benefit of saffron can't be replace with any other spices. As people say, "you never try, you never know"
Saffron type is depend on how to cut the stigma:-
Sargol is the top part of the stigma that completely cut s from the posterior stamen and retains only dark red flags. After harvest, the worker carefully removes the red egg yolk before drying.
Pushali is type of saffron which the red part of stigma will carefully cut, which adds only a little yellow to the stingray.
Negin saffron is consider cutting the entire red part of saffron without any yellow stigma.
Bunch is considered the entire stigma that has been remove from the bloom, without cutting. Bunch has cheaper price, since most of saffron nutrition and colour is on the red part of the stigma only.
Is consider the yellow part of saffron stigma, without any red stigma
Saffron has been shown to cause apoptosis in several cancer cells, which is recognized as one of the key components of any type of cancer control or cancer prevention. In fact, all three major components of saffron, croquitin and safranal strongly demonstrated the properties of apoptosis. (reference)
Anti-diabetic drugs are needed to regulate your blood sugar in hard conditions. The potential effects of saffron spice treatment have been documented in the past two decades. There is evidence that saffron has potent anti-inflammatory properties (reference).
An Italian study says crocetin in saffron can improve cerebral oxygenation, which facilitates arthritis (reference). However, it should not be used by older patients with liver, kidney or bone marrow disorders–and not by pregnant women.
A Spanish study states that natural compounds of saffron can help prevent vision loss and retina degeneration. Safranal, one of the compounds in saffron, preserved the photo receptor morphology (an eye mechanism that examines the forms of things you see), the visual response, and the capillary network (reference).
Base on reports saffron have used to treat asthma since ancient times. Traditional medicine uses saffron for this purpose (reference). However, research is limited. Consult your doctor for more information.
Saffron was found to play a key role in promoting digestion and treating digestive disorders through antioxidant effects and anti-inflammatory and radical (reference) properties. It also shows the potential for treating peptic ulcers and ulcerative colitis.
According to an Iranian study, saffron can increase cervical readine ss during pregnancy. It also has the greatest impact on the contraction of the uterus and the loss of the walls. A number of caesarean sections were also lower among women who received saffron (reference). Please talk to your doctor about this, and take their advice.
Carotenoids in saffron can be safely impacted. One study has shown that overdoses of saffron (100 mg of saffron) per day can have temporary immunogenic activity without harmful effects (reference). Leaf extract of saffron also shows an increase in antibody response in rat (reference). Saffron also improves the energy level, but there is no clear evidence for it.
Saffron contains a variety of herbal compounds that act as antioxidants, molecules that protect cells against free radicals and oxidative stress.
Notable saffron antioxidants include crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol (reference).
Crocin and crocetin are carotenoid pigments and responsible for saffron’s red color. Both compounds may have antidepressant properties, protect brain cells against progressive damage, improve inflammation, reduce appetite, and aid weight loss.(reference)
Studies proved saffron can be a treatment for insomnia. Other studies show that saffron helps in the treatment of depression and insomnia associated with the disorder (reference).
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